Cheat Day has probably turned to ‘Cheat Month’ for some of us. It certainly did for me, I didn’t make any time to exercise, and I fulfilled my cravings for a bag of Doritos at night and ate a bit too much of biscuits and oily food during Eid.

It can be pretty difficult to get back to your old routine of exercising every week and eating the healthy food you used to make for breakfast and for your lunch break, but you can still do this, slow and steady! Research says it takes 21 days to form a habit. That’s three weeks. It’s not that long if you think about it, just think of it as waiting for three Sundays.

Going to work or school now means it’s back to the same working hours, no more of that feasting. It is back the old routine. First, let it sink into your mindset, that you want to go back to eating and being healthy. I know that whenever you put your mind to it wholeheartedly, the rest will follow.

Here are some tips which may help you, which I will try myself. I am probably the one who needs these tips the most:

1. Start small.

If you’re used to going for a 5 km jog, start with 3 km this week. If you’re doing some high-intensity workout, and would normally have a 45-second recovery time between sets, give yourself one whole minute this time. The main thing is, you need to focus on getting back into your workout routine. Remember not to expect yourself to immediately be able to jump right back into your old routine, because hey, your body has been on a break, and it needs a bit of time to get back to it, or you won’t be able to handle it. You don’t want to go too fast just to feel frustrated, you know?

2. Have a friend.

If you like to do things on your own, you could use the buddy system for now. Having time away from your health and wellness routine would feel like a drag too because it would feel like you are starting over. Have a friend with you so you can motivate each other. When one of you feels tired, the other can push you to get your butt off the bench and keep moving. Have that friend of yours until you’re back in full swing, or if you enjoy the company, just keep that friend with you. It’s a healthy competition too.

3. Quit drinking sweetened drinks.

This is a tough one for me. It’s just so easy to access flavoured drinks. Why are they so delicious and addictive? I asked myself of this every time I see one. Putting that to the side, always order plain water when you’re eating out, or when you are at work and you feel like you need to have a sip of something sweet… Pour a little amount to your glass, quickly put the drink away and just drink what is in your glass before you reach out the rest and tell yourself ‘enough!’. Remember not to sip because it will lead you to an empty can of sweetened drink. We drank way too many sweet drinks during Ramadan and Eid. It’s what we drink when we break our fast, and sometimes for supper after Taraweeh prayers, and then there’s Eid, where sweet drinks will always be served. Flush out all those sweet drinks and just drink water.

4. Start eating healthy again.

When Ramadan was coming to an end, I thought to myself, “Wow, after this, I can actually eat all the food I’ve been missing out on”. Puh-lease, dear self, it was only a month! Get back to preparing your meals, with a lot of vegetables, to bring to work. Save that extra cash that you would spend on eating out. You can, however, have your favourite meals from that particular eatery, but don’t splurge too much that you want to eat out every single day. Remember, you’re trying to get back to your old routine which you did really well before the break!